If you’re a regular Curbed reader, this won’t be news to you: Housing in the U.S. is increasingly unaffordable. The latest unsettling stat comes from a new Trulia study, which finds that the typical American worker making $37,040 a year has to spend 42 percent of their income on mortgage payments for the typical $250,000 house—a six percent increase from just two years ago. And in some of the country’s largest cities, higher wages don’t always cover the high price of housing.
Trulia analyzed incomes and housing costs in the country’s 100 largest metro areas to see how folks who serve their communities—teachers, first responders, restaurant workers, doctors—are faring in their local housing markets. The study finds that teachers especially struggle to afford housing in San Francisco, L.A., San Diego, Austin, Denver, and Honolulu. They’d have more choice in homes in Rust Belt cities like Dayton, Akron, or Detroit—where a teacher’s salary could afford to buy 75 percent of homes on the market.
First responders—police and firefighters—also have a difficult time buying a home in high-priced California markets, but moving to a less expensive city like Raleigh, Madison, or Nashville wouldn’t totally solve the problem since wages would dramatically decrease, says the report.
For restaurant workers making just a little more than $20,000 a year, housing choice and affordability is limited to just 10 percent of homes for sale in 56 of 93 major U.S. metro areas.
Doctors, unsurprisingly, fare pretty well across the board, and are able to afford at least 50 percent of housing in each market studied. As if San Francisco needed a further reminder of how unaffordable it has become, the City by the Bay is the only metro where the percentage of homes affordable to doctors dip under 50 percent to just 41.57 percent.
On the other hand, the study identified Dayton, Ohio, as one of the most affordable cities for all the occupations analyzed. Restaurant workers can afford to buy a third of the city’s homes, and teachers, first responders, and doctors could afford a significant majority of Dayton’s houses for sale. Explore the full study, including an interactive map, here.